Okay, I'll admit it now. While I have a good general knowledge of what each individual church is about, I don't write up specifics unless there is a player character cleric in that church. Until then, I just wing it.
Those church details which are written up are available here. As more are generated, they will be linked in for player reference. Also, this page will hold the FAQs about clerics in Narth 2000, which will follow the list of churches.
Below is a list of the gods whose worshipers played an active role in one or another of the incarnations of the campaign. Click on the desired god for details about that church.
FAQ for clerics in Narth 2000
- How do clerics gain spells?
- Do clerics spend Fatigue to power their spells? Can they use powerstones?
- Are clerics limited by how powerful their god is?
- Why be a cleric of a weaker god, then?
- Is there a standard "cleric package"?
- How is clerical magic different from "regular" magic?
How do clerics gain spells?
Firstly, clerics are not bound by the prerequisite system that mages must follow, except in one regard: required levels of Magery are treated as levels of Power Investiture. If a spell requires Magery 3, it cannot be acquired by a cleric with Power Investiture 2.
However, to balance out this freedom, any time he wants to learn a new spell from the list his god offers, the cleric must petition the god for it. This is usually done through a vigil: the cleric must spend at least 24 hours in meditation and prayer -- without recourse to the Vigil spell, if he knows it. When he manages to complete the vigil, a roll is then made against IQ + Power Investiture (modified by various things, mostly how well the character has been roleplayed and how well he has served the purposes of his god). If the roll succeeds, the god grants the spell to the cleric.
Alternately, a cleric may petition his god in a moment of need for the knowledge of a spell needed right then. If the need is great enough, the god may grant the spell right then and there.
Note that in both cases, the cleric must have at least one character point free to pay for the spell gained.
Note also that, unlike a mage's learned spells, a cleric's god can choose to take away any spells that he granted, if he so chooses, at any time it chooses. Like at the moment the cleric's trying to cast it. A god will do this as a punishment if the cleric has displeased him; the degree of punishment determines what (and how many) spells suddenly disappear from the cleric's repertoire. The cleric also loses the character points spent on spells lost in this manner. In order to get the spells back, the cleric must first address and/or correct whatever he did to upset his god, and then perform a new vigil for each spell.
Do clerics spend Fatigue to power their spells? Can they use powerstones?
Clerics spend fatigue as do mages. The rules for reduction of fatigue cost for high levels of skill do apply to clerics. Local mana level does not affect their casting at all, but places sacred to their god act as High or Very High Mana areas for them, with the resulting reduction in Fatigue cost. But, with the exception of the clerics of Fermus, they cannot use powerstones. However, it is possible to petition the god on the spur of the moment to grant power to cast a spell that the cleric is too weak to otherwise cast; this is done with an IQ + Power Investiture roll, which is actually a Quick Contest with something I won't describe, just to keep it mysterious...
Are clerics limited by how powerful their god is?
Yes. The more powerful a god is, the more he can provide each of his clerics. Using the Primal Order classification system, a godling can't provide anything to his priests, while the clerics of a supreme deity can almost be servitor creatures in their own right.
The following is a brief breakdown of the usual way things work. There are always exceptions!
- Cannot grant anything.
- 1 level of Power Investiture; plus either up to 10 spells or one gift.
- Supported Demigod
- 1 level of Power Investiture, 10 to 20 spells, one gift.
- Lesser God
- 2 levels of Power Investiture, 20 to 30 spells or a single College related to the god's sphere, up to 2 gifts.
- Greater God
- 3 levels of Power Investiture, 30 to 40 spells or up to two Colleges related to the god's sphere or spheres, up to 3 gifts.
- Supreme God
- 3 levels of Power Investiture, 40 to 50 spells or 3 Colleges, up to 4 gifts.
A "gift" is an advantage rolled into the cleric's Power Investiture; these are usually listed as "Special Abilities" in the detail listings that you can link to earlier on this page. An example is a Fermus cleric's ability to detect magic in use.
Why be a cleric of a weaker god, then?
Because it would make for an interesting character, or because it gives you something special no one else can do. Because something the god stands for strikes a chord within you. Because it would be fun.
This isn't AD&D. The name of the game is not power-mongering. You don't need the most powerful character in order to enjoy yourself, and if you think you do, this is probably the wrong game for you.
Is there a standard "cleric package"?
Yes and no.
There is a certain minimum set of advantages and skills that a cleric must have to be a cleric; you can find those on the Characters page. Note that these minimums do not give the cleric access to divine power; it only gives him a place in a church and the means to function there. The ability to cast god-given spells is the Power Investiture advantage. Not all clerics in any given church can cast spells!
In any case, beyond this, there are no "standards". Each god has different requirements and demands to which his clerics are subject. Check the details on churches for the specifics on any particular god.
In terms of game mechanics, there is (mostly) no difference. Within the context of the game, though, clerical magic has a very different "flavor". Firstly, as noted above, clerical magic is not dependent upon the local mana level. It is affected in an analagous manner by the level of "sanctity" the cleric's surroundings may possess, but it is possible for a cleric to cast spells of astounding power even in a no-mana zone.
Secondly, mages can't detect clerical magic with their various magical senses and the standard detection spells -- it simply doesn't register. (There are mages' spells which are able to detect divine energy -- aka "Primal" -- but they are the closely held secrets of certain Orders.) Other clerics can detect divine energies on a successful roll against IQ + Power Investiture.
Thirdly, any divinely-powered magic (including mage spells which have been "laced" with Primal energy (see below), but not those simply cast with it) has a signature that identifies the god who provided the power. This signature can be read with an additional roll against IQ + Power Investiture, after the divine energy has been detected. (You can't read a signature off energy you don't know is there!) Signatures do not announce the name of the god that left them; this must be learned, either by experience or through the help of someone who already knows. Signatures can be counterfeited, but it takes a greater or supreme god to do so, and is no small task. Note also that unless a vast amount of power was expended, a Primal signature isn't permanent; it slowly fades away, lasting about an hour per ranking of the god (from 1 hour for a godling to 6 hours for a supreme god).
The final benefit of clerical magic over "regular" magic is that if the matter is of sufficient importance to the cleric's god, he or she may "lace" their servant's magic with Primal energy; for those who do not have a copy of The Primal Order, this give the spell the ability to ignore defenses and resistances, and automatically hit its subject. Lacing of a cleric's spell is rare -- it happens when the god chooses to do it, and asking for it (except in the most dire of circumstances) is unspeakable arrogance on the part of the cleric.